UDFA Jaylen Warren may not have been expected to make the 53-man roster when he joined the team after not getting drafted this spring, but his play throughout training camp and the preseason proved to be too much to ignore.
Warren quickly became Pittsburgh’s training camp darling on the offensive side of the football at Saint Vincent College thanks to his willingness in pass protection, aggressive running style in-between the tackles, and his ability as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
When asked about what stood out about Warren during the preseason and what kind of role he may have on the roster this season, Mike Tomlin reiterated the same points in his press conference prior to the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“He’s been highly consistent when giving opportunities in just about all areas,” Tomlins said about Warren during his press conference, which aired live on the team’s YouTube channel. “Whether it’s running the ball inside or out, whether it’s in the passing game, or whether it’s in the blitz pickup, he’s just been highly competitive in all circumstances. You could also include special teams in that. And so, he’ll get an opportunity to carve out a role for himself if you will, as we continue to play.”
Jaylen Warren made his case for a roster spot during preseason play, being the best runner in the preseason for Pittsburgh behind workhorse RB Najee Harris. He has shown flashes of being an elusive runner in the open field while also having the lower center of gravity to pick up the tough yards up the middle. His pass protection has been solid for a rookie, and he has flashed as a pass catcher, making some difficult catches including Kenny Pickett’s first TD pass in a Steelers uniform.
Warren brings an element of athleticism and juice that Benny Snell Jr. lacks, making him a better compliment as a runner behind Harris should he ever need a breather. Per the Week 1 depth chart, Warren has been listed as the RB2 behind Harris who will see most snaps but will still have to come off the field every once in a while, thus allowing Warren to see game action. It may not be a huge role initially for Warren who also dealt with a fumbling problem early on in training camp, but he appears fit for whatever role he is given this season, considering it “a dream come true” just to make the roster itself as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.